Marriott International: Taking care of the people, and the business

Regan Taikitsadaporn, Chief HR Officer for Asia-Pacific at Marriott International, explains how taking care of the business is about taking care of people.
By: | October 5, 2018

Be sure to check out the first part of our exclusive HR Insider interview with Regan Taikitsadaporn, Chief HR Officer for Asia-Pacific at Marriott International.

Regan Taikitsadaporn, Chief HR Officer for Marriott International in Asia-Pacific is quick to explain that the all-encompassing “people first” approach to HR at the company has been in its DNA from the beginning.

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At A Glance

Number Of Employees (Asia-Pacific): 135,000

Key HR Focus Areas: Culture, Learning & Development, Human Capital Planning

Size of HR Team: 130

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Taikitsadaporn recites a famous quote from his company’s founder J.Willard Marriott: “If you take care of the associates, they’ll take good care of the customers, and the customers will keep coming back”.

Indeed, “taking care” of the employees is formalised into Marriot’s TakeCare movement, which was launched a few years ago.

There are three aspects to this, as Taikitsadaporn explains: “Taking care of me as an individual, you (each other), and us (the company).”

“But it’s not just a HR-driven or top-down initiative,” he points out. “We also have TakeCare champions, roughly one for every 50 employees.

“The key for us is to empower our associates around a common philosophy, especially in Asia-Pacific, where it’s so diverse – what resonates in Japan may not resonate in India or Australia.”

Another pillar of TakeCare centres on community service. This is partly customer-driven: as employees become increasingly socially conscious, they are demanding the same from their services.

“For example, when we pitch for a lot of Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibition opportunities – which is a big part of our business – one of the things we are frequently asked about is our position around sustainability, human rights, and social impact,” says Taikitsadaporn.

But it’s also about the fact that employees, too, increasingly want to see their employers drive positive change in society – especially the vital millennial and Generation Z demographics.

“People want to be part of a company that has a good reputation. Regardless of whether they’re active in volunteering in their own time – which, actually, many of the younger folk are – people want to be associated with a company that has a good reputation, not just in the sense of making lots of money, but in terms of having a strong purpose in society,” says Taikitsadaporn.

“So we have something called Serve360, which involves a few different aspects – such as giving back to the local communities we operate in, ensuring that our operations are sustainable, and also helping disadvantaged people have the opportunity to work.

“Our employees are very much involved in this: it’s not just a feel-good thing, but it helps bring teams together. It brings us closer to the community, and it helps the business as well,” he adds.


Empowering employees to live their best lives

This story first appeared in the September 2018 edition of HRM Magazine Asia. Check out the rest of the issue here.

Journey week is a cornerstone of Marriott International’s talent retention programme, and this year’s iteration saw it take over more than 600 Marriott properties across Asia-Pacific in April this year.

The week-long schedule of activities included career coaching sessions, hotel open houses, local school engagement, résumé and interview preparation workshops, as well as diversity celebrations.

Employees in senior leadership roles also shared their own career journeys to inspire others to reach their own career goals.

“Journey Week is a platform that reinforces our company’s global employer brand campaign: ‘To the Journey’,” says Regan Taikitsadaporn, Chief HR Officer at Marriott International Asia-Pacific.

“The series of events brings to life our value proposition: that Marriott International offers unmatched career opportunities coupled with a culture that empowers [our employees] to live their best lives.”

This story is a part of the HR Insider series, which shines a spotlight on the “people behind the people”   namely, the talent teams supporting the region’s most successful organisations. Check out previous HR Insider stories here.